flooding

Was May a Record Month for Rainfall?

May 2021 pales in comparison to the all-time record of nearly 17 inches in 2015

NBC 5 News

As much as it seems like we just experienced the wettest May on record in DFW, it wasn't.

In fact, it wasn't even close.

With a jaw-dropping 19 of 31 "wet days" for the month, the total rainfall for May 2021 was 7.77 inches of rain. (Yes, that's right, 7.77" - Vegas, anyone?)

While that number may be viewed as good fortune for those who depend on rain, for others, it was simply too much.

The normal rainfall for the month of May is 4.78 inches. This year's total was an impressive 2.99 inches above that! Surely that's got to be a record, right? Not by a long shot...

May 2021 pales in comparison to the all-time record of nearly 17 inches in 2015. May 2021 doesn't even make the Top 5. In fact, it doesn't even make the Top 10.

May 2021 sits much farther down the list - at a comfortable 21. That's right, 21 in 2021 - another peculiar coincidence.

So there you have it. Yes, it was an active month for rain and storms, but it wasn't anything Earth-shattering. The jet stream was simply in a more favorable pattern for frequent rounds of showers and storms this season.

And by the looks of things, June is going to pick up where May left off - with more rain.

As for the year, we have a nice surplus 1.78 inches of above-normal precipitation. Again, nothing Earth-shattering, but it perhaps seems that way since much of it has been all at once lately. How quickly we forget that January through March was drier than normal (despite the major snowstorm in February).

Lastly, while the rain may be a serious inconvenience for some, we should always stop just short of complaining. Those of us who've been in Texas for a while know how quickly the rain clouds can disappear come summer. Then, we find ourselves talking about drought and the water-rationing that comes with it. Who wants that?! No one.

So, in the meantime, grab a good book, a cup of coffee, maybe take a nap...and let it rain.


As for May 2015 ... the heavy rainfall wasn't just the 17 inches that fell in North Texas. According to the National Weather Service, more than 35 trillion gallons fell across the Lone Star State that month -- the infographic below helps visualize just how much water that is.

NBC 5 News
Texas rainfall for May 2015

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